Chandrayaan-2 to explore & perform studies on South pole of moon

India has successfully launched its 2nd lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 onboard its powerful rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from Sriharikota to explore the uncharted south pole of the Moon by landing a rover. The Rs 978 crore mission will mark a giant leap in India’s space research and make it only the 4th country to have landed a rover on Moon. For the first time in India’s space history, an interplanetary expedition is being led by two women – Muthaya Vanitha (the project director) & Ritu Karidhal (the mission director). According to ISRO, the lunar South Pole is an interesting surface area which remains in shadow than North pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. The lander ‘Vikram’, named after father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, carrying the rover ‘Pragyan’, will be landed in a high plain between two craters at a latitude of about 70 degrees South of the moon. Then the 27-kg ‘Pragyan’ meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit and a six-wheeled robotic vehicle, will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface. A safe site free of hazards for landing would be decided based on pictures sent back by the camera onboard the lander and after touchdown the rover will carry out experiments for 14 Earth days, equals one Lunar Day.

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